If you are looking for a trail that not only gives you the iconic Bryce Canyon overlook view, but also gets you close and personal to the famous Hoodoo’s look no farther. The “Figure 8” trail combines both the Peek-a-Boo, Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden trails.
The trail is a 6.4 mile roundtrip hike. So bring plenty of water and some snacks for along the way. If hiking in the summer months I would suggest carrying 2-3 liters of water. I love these hydration bladders that fit nicely in our daypacks. Or a smaller option such as this or this. And of course some sturdy hiking shoes, my favorite (here). I also was a fan of our travel hiking poles, we bought them from The Narrows which you can read about our trip to Zion on here, but I also used them at Bryce some as well. The trails seemed to well marked in Bryce Canyon but it is always smart to bring along a trail map (here).
If looking for a less strenuous hike you could follow the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden for a quick 2.9 miles. Both of these trails will take you down into the Canyon but also right back out which makes it a quick elevation change.
Since the Figure 8 trail goes in a loop you can really start in any direction. I recommend starting at Sunset Point and heading down the Navajo Loop first.
The Sunset Point parking lot can become full pretty quickly in the peak season. When we went in August we were planning on using the shuttle, we ended up arriving around 8 am and found a parking stop at Sunset Point.
Starting with the Navajo Loop will take you down the Wall Street switchbacks first. I recommend this because these switchbacks are much easier going down while you full of energy, the return through Queens Garden seemed to be an easier ascent back to the top of the Canyon.
From Sunset point through Wall Street the Navajo Loop will end at 0.7 miles. Here you have the option to turn to walk Queen’s Garden or head straight back up via the rest of the Navajo Loop. I recommend the Queen’s Garden for some changes in scenery. If continuing to the Peek-a-Boo Loop to complete the Figure 8 look for the trail signs. There is a short connector trail (0.2 miles) until you reach the beginning of the Loop.
From here you can choose to go left or right since it is a loop. We choose to go right for no particular reason.
This is a horse trail as well. So expect to see some droppings and to occasionally step to the side to let them pass.
This trails puts you close and personal with the hoodoo’s in no time. What I love about the trail is that it seemed to vary in trail difficulty and views. There were some steeper parts of the trails but it was always balanced with some smooth enjoyable flat and downhill grades.
It also gives you a vast selection of views around Bryce Canyon. On the hike you will see the Wall of Windows, tunnels, hoodoos and more.
After 1.3 miles of traveling on the Peek-a-Boo trail you will come across a small restroom that is open for the summer travelers, with still a few miles to go I would recommend stopping. Although resembling an outhouse they were very clean!
Continue on through the trail in awe of this natural and unusual landscape until you have completed the 3 mile Peek-a-Boo Loop.
Get back on the connector trail heading towards Queen’s Garden. This trail will take you 0.9 miles until you have completed the Figure 8 Loop and to the rim of the canyon.
The Queens Garden landscapes are very different than what we saw the the previous trails which makes the hike back up a lot easier as you are taking in the new scenery. And less switchbacks than at the start of the Navajo Loop is always a plus!
This will dump you at Sunrise Point for a different overlook of Bryce Canyon. And a short and FLAT 0.5 mile walk back to the start at Sunset Point. If you didn’t park in the lot you can get a shuttle at Sunrise Point if you do not want to walk along the Rim Trail to Sunset Point.
Enjoy your hike at Bryce Canyon! There is no where else in the world you will see a landscape as unique as this one!